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Putnam County Gun Permit Applications Rise, As President Seeks More Control

Stolen pistols
Stolen pistols Photo Credit: File photo

CARMEL, N.Y. -- State and federal efforts to tighten gun control laws have not slowed the rate at which Putnam County residents apply for pistol permits.

According to the latest available records, Putnam County received 85 more pistol permit applications in 2015 than in the previous year, a 40 percent increase.

According to the Putnam County Clerk’s Office -- the official repository of comprehensive pistol license records -- there are about 10,500 active pistol licenses issued in Putnam County.

Firearms license applications are filed initially with the Putnam County Clerk’s Office, which in turn forwards applications to the Sheriff’s Office to conduct the requisite background investigation on the applicants, according to Capt. William McNamara, a spokesman for the Sheriff's Office.

In 2014, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office received 211 applications to investigate. In 2015, the number of applications was 296, McNamara said.

Among the best known Putnam County residents with a pistol permit is Fox News Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Roger Ailes.

Meanwhile, Dutchess County's Pistol Licensing Unit received 415 more pistol permit applications in 2015 than in the previous year.

That's more than a 31 percent increase year-to-year, according to figures provided by Capt. John A. Watterson, a spokesman for the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office.

The total number of active pistol permits in Dutchess County is now 32,786.

Watterson said total pistol permit applications in 2014 were 1329. This year past, the number of applications rose to 1,744, Watterson said.

The increase comes as President Obama took executive action on Jan. 5 to expand background checks, increase oversight and close loopholes in federal law.

"This is about enforcing existing laws,'' Obama said Thursday night during a televised "town hall" meeting on guns broadcast by CNN from Fairfax, Va.

On Wednesday, Daily Voice reported here that pistol permit applications also are on the rise in Westchester County.

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